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How to be a healthy elf this Christmas

Published: 28 November 2019

staying healthy in winter

Top tips to prepare and stay well during the festive season

Christmas is a busy time of year for everyone, that we often forget to look after ourselves and our family's health and wellbeing. The good news is you can still get hold of many health services over the festive season, as well as be prepared and help others.

Here's some useful information to Help Us, Help You, to stay fit and healthy, be prepared and help others Stay Well This Winter:

1. Be prepared and protect against illnesses

No-one wants to feel unwell over Christmas, so if you or someone you know takes regular medication, you can order it in advance to make sure you've got enough to last the festive season. You can also protect yourself from unexpected illnesses, by having a flu vaccination at a local pharmacy and stocking up on over-the-counter and self-care medicines.

2. Use NHS 111 for medical advice and treatment

You can use the NHS 111 service if you have an urgent medical concern and aren't sure what to do. The service is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week by a team of trained advisors who can refer you to the most appropriate service. You can visit NHS online or call 111.

3. Know your local pharmacy and how they can help you

Local pharmacies offer fast and convenient advice and treatment for minor health concerns, like coughs, colds and tummy troubles. You don't need an appointment, you can just turn up and speak to a local pharmacist. Find out the opening times of your local pharmacy over the festive season on the NHS website.

4. Additional GP appointments

Many GPs are now open for longer with many appointments available in the evenings and at weekends, so you can get the help you need more easily. Some will offer additional appointments over Christmas when required. To book an appointment over Christmas, please contact your GP like usual. For more information visit the Healthy Surrey website.

5. Spread the Christmas cheer

Christmas is a great time to get together with loved ones and family, but it can also be a lonely time for many who have no-one to share the festive spirit with. Older neighbours and relatives are more vulnerable in the colder months and may need a bit of extra help this winter, so make sure you keep in touch and check in on them when you can. You can also find out about Christmas community events near you.

6. Take time for yourself

Christmas can be a time of depression and stress. There's plenty of support available, from ways to improve your mood and self-help, to local services and crisis support. To find out more, visit the Healthy Surrey website.

7. Keep your home warm

Keeping your house warm can come at an expense, one that some people simply can't afford. Taking steps like insulating a house can save around £135 on energy bills each year. There's free support available for some groups of people.

For more information, visit the Healthy Surrey website - the home of local health and wellbeing information you can trust.

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